ARGYLE — The Argyle Eagles weren’t going to let go of their string of district championships without a fight.
Outslugging and outpitching Celina from the third inning on in Friday night’s District 10-3A title game, Argyle nailed down its sixth straight crown with an 11-4 win over the team that entered the game with a matching league won-loss record.
“We trailed early, but we’ve won five or six games after trailing early,” Argyle coach Ricky Griffin said. “Our guys were patient at the plate and Drew Gooch is solid every time he goes to the mound.”
Parker Mushinski blasted a three-run homer, Landon Rogers had a pair of two-run hits and Gooch, a hard-throwing lefty, struck out eight batters and allowed only five hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Eagles improved to 25-3 overall, closing district with a 7-1 record.
Celina settled for second place in 10-3A at 6-2 and will take a 15-9-1 record into the playoffs, the start of which will be delayed a week by state testing.
Argyle’s district title means a first-round bye in the Class 3A playoffs and two weeks before it begins the win-or-go-home portion of the season. Griffin, who collected his 200th coaching victory Friday, said the Eagles will play one warmup game at Gunter on April 27 and, Griffin said, likely another the next week.
The visiting Bobcats jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when cleanup hitter Landon Lohmann turned on a 2-2 pitch from Gooch and hit it over the 375-foot sign in left field.
But Celina’s starting hurler, lefty Travis Entrop, couldn’t hang on to the lead. He walked Argyle’s leadoff hitter, Tyler Gibson, who then scored on an error.
Entrop walked four more hitters in the next two innings before being replaced immediately after Argyle’s first hit of the game, Rogers’ double to right-center, put the Eagles ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the third.
“We really took off after that,” Rogers said. “I was glad I could do it for the team.”
Still in the third, Argyle’s Seth Jones made it 5-2 with a two-run hit of his own off reliever Andrew Bielinski. Celina’s pitchers walked 10 batters in all.
“Our pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone,” Bobcat coach James Evans said. “We gave up 11 runs off seven hits. That’s unlikely. Too many walks killed us.”
Bielinski was charged with six runs and four walks in 2 2/3 innings of work. He was responsible for all five runs Argyle scored in the fifth as the Eagles batted around.
Mushinski mashed his second homer of the season over the right field fence, ringing up three runs and an 8-2 lead after singles by teammates Dillon Harp and Davis Coghlan. Then Rogers made it 10-2, singling in Cutter McDonald, who doubled, and Gibson, who walked three times and scored each time.
Daniel Gerths doubled and scored for Celina in the top of the sixth, and the Bobcats scored in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk issued by relief pitcher Quinton Rockwell.
Jones doubled and scored Argyle’s final run on a Brandon Boyzuick sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
ARGYLE 11, CELINA 4
WP — Drew Gooch. LP — Travis Entrop. HR — Landon Lohmann, Celina; Parker Mushinski, Argyle. 2B — Daniel Gerths, Andrew Bielinski, Celina; Landon Rogers, Seth Jones, Cutter McDonald, Argyle.